What’s going on with Taylor Swift’s master tapes?

CreateSafe’s Daouda Leonard breaks down Taylor Swift master tapes situation.


November 18, 2020

For the 2nd time in as many years, superduper music star Taylor Swift had the master tapes of her early works acquired… without her knowledge:

  • June 2019: Superduper music manager Scooter Braun partnered up with the family office of billionaire George Soros and PE firm Carlyle to buy Big Machine Label — which owns Swift’s first 6 albums.
  • November 2020: Braun just flipped Swift’s work to an investment fund for an estimated $450m (wow).

Swift has some thoughts

In a tweet, Swift lays out the backstory:

  • Braun tried to “forever silence” her by asking her to sign an NDA prior to her negotiating for the original masters (she passed)
  • She has started re-recording her prior work, which will “diminish the value” of the original masters

What’s next?

To find out more, we reached out to Daouda Leonard, music manager for Grimes and BloodPop as well as the founder of CreateSafe (a music management platform).

Here’s what he has to say:

“Feels similar to when Michael Jackson purchased the Beatles publishing catalog. It’s also an interesting chess match, maybe even a bit of a Queen’s Gambit in Taylor’s responses overall where she is endeavoring to rerecord all of her old material in a bid to reclaim the value that she originally created.

“Interestingly, the value of her catalog has now increased possibly 3x with the original purchase and now sale of her masters.

“This will undoubtedly increase the value of her publishing catalog as well, so all signs point to a blockbuster deal in the making at some point in the near future.

“Also one has to wonder what would happen if she were to tokenize these new recordings along with her publishing catalog and direct her fans to support her directly.”

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